NASA still tracking towards mid-to-late May SpaceX crew launch despite parachute mishap

Rodiano Bonacci
Марта 30, 2020

This means SpaceX will be among the companies that NASA can turn to when it needs things shuttled via spaceship between Earth and this forthcoming platform, which will orbit the Moon and provide a staging ground for future crewed Moon missions.

This contract of SpaceX not exclusively serves NASA's forthcoming Artemis moon missions - which ultimately search to determine a everlasting scientific human lunar presence, however it'll additionally contain within the area company's begins of labor towards the extension of mars work for the people to succeed in there as properly. But Dragon XL will likely stay attached to the Gateway for six to 12 months at a time, NASA officials said. The total worth of the contracts will be approximately $7 billion for the entire agreement. Under the first Gateway Logistics Services contract to be awarded to a U.S. company, SpaceX will deliver pressurized and unpressurized supplies, experiments, and items to the Gateway station, which will be used for the Artemis program to return American astronauts to the lunar surface and establish a permanent manned presence there. SpaceX plays an important role in NASA's Artemis program and future Mars ambitions, but it isn't the only private American space company working with the space agency.

The Dragon XL spacecraft is based on the legacy of SpaceX's unpilote Dragon cargo ship, which now delivers deliveries to the global space station, and the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft, created to transport astronauts to and from the outpost beginning later this year.

Illustration of the SpaceX Dragon XL as it is deployed from the Falcon Heavy's second stage in high Earth orbit on its way to the Gateway in lunar orbit.

NASA has tapped a type of SpaceX cargo craft that hasn't yet been built to deliver supplies to a moon-orbiting outpost that hasn't yet been launched. Doug Loverro, NASA associate administrator for human exploration and operations, said at a March 13 advisory committee meeting that NASA was taking the Gateway out of the "critical path" for a 2024 human return to the lunar surface and had simplified its design. More importantly, the update mentions the same "mid to late May, quot; window for the launch of SpaceX's first manned mission, which is good news".

SpaceX and NASA already work together on several projects under the Commercial Crew and Commercial Resupply contracts for the International Space Station. NASA has as long as 12 years to order missions under the terms of the contract, with a 15-year performance period. "We are bringing the innovative thinking of commercial industry into our supply chain and helping ensure we're able to support crews preparing for lunar surface expeditions by delivering the supplies they need ahead of time".

Charged with returning to the Moon in the next four years, NASA's Artemis program will reveal new knowledge about the Moon, Earth and our origins in the solar system.

NASA issued a call for proposals for the Gateway Logistics Services program in August.

Like the ISS, the Gateway will be an worldwide effort with numerous agencies.

"We're making significant progress moving from our concept of the Gateway to reality", said Dan Hartman, Gateway program manager at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

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